Denver School of Nursing--BSN experience

  1. Hi there,

    I'm starting this thread for people interested in the Denver School of Nursing. I'm starting the BSN program in Oct 2006, and I'm going to try and post regularly to give new/prospective students an idea of what to expect.

    --Mary West

    What I know so far:

    The first quarter schedule is INTENSE. My schedule is:
    Mon: 10-4
    Tues: off
    Weds: 9-5 (This is an ALL DAY lab.)
    Thurs: 8-5:30
    Fri: 9-3:30
    Every day has an hour for lunch scheduled, but otherwise no breaks between classes. The classes we're taking are: Basic Pharmacology Concepts (I've been warned this class is really hard), Pathophysiology, and Foundations of Nursing/Lab. The quarter is 11 weeks long. We don't have clinicals the first quarter.

    They want us to buy four books. After I get them I'll post how much they cost (I'm probably going to Big Dog textbooks like everyone else.)

    Our orientation is Sept 25th from 9-1, and it is mandatory. I'll post again if I learn anything useful.
    Last edit by mbw5680 on Oct 3, '06
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    About mbw5680

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 54; Likes: 2


  3. by   cyn2224
    Hi Mary,
    Thank goodness I found your post. I am applying next month. Any advice regarding the essay and what they are looking for? I understand that there is a 20% acceptance rate. Did you have to include recommendation letters or have a minimum amount of volunteer hours?

    Thank you for listening.

  4. by   mbw5680
    Hi Cynthia (and everyone else),

    For the Denver School of Nursing (19th and Market), I didn't have to write an essay or submit letters of recommendation. I just completed my pre-reqs and had an interview with an admissions counselor. I honestly found it very easy to get in. Jeff Johnson (the director of admissions), essentially told me that as long as you've fulfilled your prerequisites and can swing the tuition, you'll be accepted as soon as there's space. (Right now there's a very short to no waiting list because the tuition is so difficult to finance.)

    I also applied to the CU-Health Sciences Center (I didn't get in.) They do require an essay, and the school is VERY competitive. (I realize this is off the subject of this post, but it's still about nursing school.) They don't advertise this, but CU DOES care about where you went to school (my husband is a professor there.) How they admit people is that they a) score each application, and then b) make a cutoff point and accept people who score above it. However, CU has a multiplier that affects your score depending on where you did your pre-reqs. For example, let's say your application is given a score of 83%. If you went to Metro, your score would be multiplied by .80, CU-Denver, 1.0, and Harvard, 1.2 (therefore effectively raising or lowering your score.) (I'm not saying those are the actual multipliers, it's an example.)

    Good luck applying! Feel free to PM if you want.
    Last edit by mbw5680 on Sep 16, '06
  5. by   mbw5680
    I've bought my books for the first quarter. Here's how it breaks down:

    From Big Dog textbooks:
    Calculate w/ Confidence package: $78.35
    Fundamentals of Nursing + Study Guide $96.00
    Essentials of Pathophysiology + Study Guide $84.80
    Total with tax: $278.31

    WARNING: If you buy from Big Dog, ALL SALES ARE FINAL. They didn't tell me this until I was signing my credit card receipt. Make sure those are the books you want.

    Big Dog didn't have the Pharmacology book we needed, it's backordered. I ordered the previous (5th) edition of with a study guide.
    Study Guide--$22.95 (free shipping)
    Pharmacology for Nursing Care--$40.00 (from a marketplace seller, plus $3.49 shipping)

    I bought by Mosby's Drug Reference from Borders, it was $37.50 + tax. Look in the nursing reference section. They also had a copy of Fundamentals of Nursing ($80.00) if you wanted to buy the book and study guide seperately. The advantage to buying books from Borders, Amazon, etc, is that you can return them if something goes awry.

    All told, I spent close to $400 on books for this quarter.
  6. by   mbw5680
    Just a quick note--DSN is now requiring a copy of your high school diploma.
  7. by   l1k2s3
    What?! I am starting in October (I have the same schedule as you) and I haven't had a request for my diploma. I do have a college degree, maybe that is why? I suppose I have my diploma in a box somewhere, I have never actually needed it for anything.
    I got a phone call from Big Dog Textbooks on Wednesday that the Pharm book is in. They let me pay over the phone for it and will deliver it to the school Monday morning when we have orientation. They said since we were so close they were offering delivery.
    See you Monday.
  8. by   mbw5680
    I don't have a previous college degree. When I went to massage school (I'm a CMT) they required your highest level of completed education (so probably your college degree/transcripts were what they needed.)
  9. by   PDC
    Hi All,
    My name is Pat and I am in the October BSN class as well. I will try and add what I can to this thread. On the paperwork I have it says that highschool diploma is required only if you do not have a college degree. See you at orientation!
  10. by   mbw5680
    Hi all,

    Here's some information from orientation.

    First off, you need some scrubs--you'll need them first quarter (ask for them for Christmas!) For labs, you can wear any kind of scrubs you want (also, you must have close-toed shoes.) When you start your clinicals, you'll be required to wear the regulation ciel blue scrubs. You can get this color anywhere. As long as they're that color, the style doesn't matter. You'll be given patches with the DSN logo to sew on to your scrubs. I bought two pairs of the cheapest option, which cost about $45 (two shirts/two pants.)

    We were reassured several times that while the first quarter is horrible (4 days/week), subsequent quarters you'll probably only be in school two days a week. You will be doing clinicals--1 hour of clinical work equals 4 actual hours per week. It was also mentioned that clinicals are often 12 hour shifts (but again, only 1-2 days a week, usually.)

    You don't need to buy a stethoscope (until clinicals) or a blood pressure cuff (at all), but they can be useful for practicing at home. I bought the $20 stethoscope and the $12 blood pressure cuff, and my mother (who's a nurse), told me that I wouldn't need anything fancier for a long time, if at all.

    Parking at DSN sucks. There's two lots across the street, but they cost $6-$7 a day. The school encourages carpooling. You can also take the light rail and then walk about 5 blocks (if you take the C line to the end.) We don't get a student discount through RTD.

    Just one more note if you're considering nursing school: The instructors told us over and over again that nursing is probably not anything like what we think it is. We are not doctor slaves, and we're not babysitters. They warned us that the program probably won't be what we expected. They also said upfront that we're being trained to be "minimally competent" as defined by the State of Colorado. We shouldn't expect to really know what we're doing until we've been working for a few years.

    Hope that helps! School starts Oct 9th--and I'm terrified!
  11. by   mbw5680
    Here's some tuition info for everyone considering the program:

    My tuition is 28,800 for the two years (it'll be slightly higher for later starting programs.)

    I had to give $3000 up front to secure my place in the program. Since I'm paying myself, as opposed to using the Sallie Mae loan, here's the payment plan:

    1 payment of $1374, and 18 payments of $1357 (one payment per month, due on the 1st of each month.) Alternatively, you can pay by quarter, which is $4071 per quarter. (Again, if you're starting school in January or later, your payments will be higher.)

    Less than a week to go!
  12. by   wannabeinwanaka
    This is great info, thanks! I am glad to see so much talk about DSoN. I just dropped off my application yesterday for an April 2007 or July 2007 start date. I don't have a clue how I will finance it yet but I am so excited to be able to get started so much sooner than I originally anticipated. This is a second career for me and being 40 makes me feel anxious about wasting any time.

    My only other issue will be the commute. I live in Estes and my husband is a mountain guide which means he can't get much work in LoDo!

    Looking forward to your posts and good luck.
  13. by   mbw5680
    First week is over! It was INTENSE!!!

    They're not kidding when they tell you you're going to be busy. This week alone we had 14 chapters of reading combined for our classes. (Future weeks have a little less required reading.) We also have a test (or two) almost every week.

    So if you're coming to DSN, plan on being here. You really can't afford to miss more than a day or two of class.

    On a happy note, clinic is a lot of fun. That's where you get to actually practice your nursing skills. I'd recommend getting some scrubs you're not going to be using for clinical, because you might get dirty.
  14. by   L&DRN2010
    Hi Ladies, my sister is interested in getting her RN-BSN, she has been looking at Denver School of Nursing but I remember a professor at CU (my alma mater), told me that the school was not accredited and at any moment the RN and degree could be invalid. I have taken a good look at the website and I think the school looks great, and is perfect for my sister however I don't want her to run into the problem of an accreditation issue while job hunting. Can any of you tell me if this has been an issue for you? Do you worry about how it will affect you when you are job hunting? I know they enroll A LOT of people, so that is why I am so perplexed about why they aren't accredited. I would also appreciate it so much if any of you have actually spoken to recruiters and they have been wary of DSN.

    I went to school at CU for nursing, and at my current employer the recruiters are unfamiliar with DSN that is why I ask, but they did say non-accreditation raises red flags.

    Thank you so much in advance for answering my questions!